Friday, June 4, 2010

Julian Casablancas: Phrazes for the Young

Up until now, I have always enjoyed the music of Julian Casablancas. His work with the Strokes was incredible and he helped produced many songs that I have come to love. I still blast "Last Night" and "Reptillia" until I go deaf. Julian actually got me into singing in the first place because he made me realize that you didn't have to have "a voice like an angel" to sing. His solo album "Phrazes For The Young" definitely goes in a completely different direction than most of The Strokes' songs. It seemed like this album uses just as much synth as a Flock of Seagulls album.

Julian Casablancas' has a very unique sound to his voice. I would even be as bold to compare his voice to Janis Joplins'. Both voices are very harsh and have a grittiness to them. In The Strokes' first two albums he used a filter and kept a rough distorted sound to his voice. The singing on this album sounds like he didn't smoke 10 packs of cigs and down half a bottle of SOCO. All of it sounds very clean with just a little reverb on his voice. On tracks like "Out of the Blue" and "River Brakelights" his voice seems untouched. The instrumentation in this album sounds purely electronic with loads of synthesizer and maybe faint guitar parts. I say faint because there is one recognizable guitar solo in "Glass".

I think this album is complete garbage and I didn't like it at all. I am a huge Strokes fan and of Julian Casablancas, but this album just sucked. For his very first solo album he only wrote 8 songs, promoted with ridiculous poppy light shows, and produced a new type of "sell out sound." When I loaded this album in my itunes library it was listed under the "New Wave" genre. WTF?!? Are we listening to Yanni or something? Just as bad. This is basically a pop/electronica Strokes album. There are like only 2 songs that are good on this whole On top of that the new Strokes album isn't going to be released until January 2011, so until then we have this garbage to listen to. C-.
-Calvin Dugan

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